Maine Conference United
Church of Christ
28 Yarmouth Crossing Dr
Yarmouth, Maine 04096
Application Form for Grant
to Churches for 2012
As administered by the
Small Church Mission Team
Commission for Community Life
If you should have any questions
about the process
of filling out this application or
about specific information that is requested, please contact Rev. Linda Hatch,
207-356-7573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: October 1st, 2010
Maine Conference UCC
28 Yarmouth Crossing Drive
Yarmouth, Maine 04096
POLICY FOR FINANCIAL AID TO
For Financial Aid to Churches
1) There are more small-membership
UCC churches in Maine
in need of financial support for a full-time or part-time ministry than there
are funds available through the Small Church Mission Team to aid such churches.
Financial Aid to Churches
Financial aid from the Conference can be used only for supplementing the
compensation of a pastor. Please note
that a pastor must have standing in a UCC Association.
2) Churches are
encouraged to develop plans for financial self-sufficiency over a one to five
year period, with the financial aid of the Conference. The Team is available to
consult with a church in the development of such a plan. A program which may help your church toward the goal of self-sufficiency
is sponsored and recommended by the Team. It is called Parishes of Promise. Information
is available through the Team.
3) The Small Church
Mission Team will honor a bias toward
financial aid to UCC churches in isolated or unusually difficult situations.
4) The Small Church
Mission Team may offer annual financial grants
to a church for a period of up to five consecutive years. After this the Team will
hold a serious conversation with church leaders, during which alternatives will
5) An annual review of the church's progress toward meeting its goals
will be conducted. For this purpose, a copy of the reports prepared for your
Annual Meeting should be forwarded to a designated Team member.
6) Financial reports from your Treasurer should be submitted to a
designated Team member on at least a quarterly basis, so that the Team can
monitor your financial progress during the year.
The Team would like to receive a copy of your church’s By-Laws.
The Biblical-Theological basis for the work of the Small
Team is as follows:
The Small Church
Mission Team is the agency of the Maine Conference, United Church of Christ,
which is entrusted with the responsibility for mission in the State of Maine. We affirm that
God works for wholeness in the world through those persons who, under the
guiding direction of the Holy Spirit, are, as part of the visible Body of Christ,
called to witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ. We seek to be faithful to
this call by enabling ministry to take place through support of churches with
special needs, by making available resources to nurture emerging ministries, by
advocacy in response to the needs of society, and through the promotion of
fellowship among the many parts of the church. One of our goals is "to
project with the church, movement toward a fuller range of ministry." On
the basis of this statement, and this goal, the Team is ready to make available
resources in areas other than financial, i.e. church growth, Christian
education, church administration, to name a few.
Description and Interpretation of the Application Forms
This Application Form has been designed to enable the applicant church and
members of the Small Church Mission Team to assess the needs and the
opportunities for mission in your community. We request information that will
help the members of the Team to better understand your congregation, and assist
in its decision making process. A member
of the Small Church Mission Team will be assigned as a liaison and, if
agreeable will meet with the church to assist in completing the application
The first section asks for statistical
information related to your congregation. The
second section is designed to help you and the Team understand your community, and
provide you with an opportunity to share with the Team some of your plans in
fulfilling your mission. The third section of the form asks for
The "Expenditures" part of the form is divided into three groupings:
Pastoral Ministry, Church Program, and Church Properties. In each are
sub-headings which are, we hope, self-explanatory.
There are three columns to be filled in by you.
- The first column can
be filled in by your treasurer, using the annual report of the preceding church
second column should be done in committee with the treasurer, and should
basically report the figures from the current year's budget, with any
adjustments that seem appropriate for the time of your church year in
which you are completing the application. You will have at least some idea
of how close you have come in budgeting for the current year, and this is
the time to make adjustments in order to finish the current year in a
stable condition. The figures in column two should be your best
projections of what will actually be the dollar figures at year's end.
three gives your projections for the year for which you are requesting
aid. Make your projections as realistic as possible.
will, of course, do the same thing for the income side of your budget—last
year, current year, expected needs for next year. You will note that there is no place under anticipated income for
you to include any amount from the Team. This is done because a request
for funds from the Team is only determined after you have considered all
other sources of income, and committed yourselves to raising as much as
you have determined your anticipated deficit for the coming year on the
budget form, you should evaluate whatever reserves you have available, and
determine if any of those funds should be used to help offset the deficit.
A reasonable operating reserve and building/repair reserve is advisable;
however, excessive reserves held apart from the anticipated budget will
affect the Team’s consideration of your request for aid.
determining if any part of your reserves should be pledged to cover part of the
deficit, THEN determine the amount you will request from the Maine
Conference for financial aid to enable competent pastoral ministry in the
Ministerial Standing - We believe that the Small Church Mission Team's
purpose is to undergird and strengthen the ministry of local churches in the
Maine Conference, and that this purpose is best fulfilled under the leadership
of pastors who possess the gifts and training which our denomination recognizes
in the process by which ministerial standing is granted. Financial aid is granted to churches only
where the pastor has UCC standing. In Care, Licensure, Ordination and Privilege
of Call are the usual categories of standing.
.On the following page we describe two new
policy decisions which have been made by the Small
Team, and which need your careful attention.
FOR CHURCHES TO WHOM GRANTS ARE
MADE BY THE SMALL CHURCH MISSION TEAM
- When a
grant has been approved, each congregation thus aided is expected to make
use of an assessment tool called the Parish Profile Inventory, developed
Seminary. Questionnaires are provided for the number of persons who make
up the congregation; these are to be distributed and retrieved after about
a month, and sent to Hartford
for tabulation. A complete report is prepared and returned to the Team and
to the congregation. The Team undertakes to provide a visit to the
congregation by a Conference staff person, to assist in interpreting these
survey results. The costs for this one-time congregational survey are paid
by the Team.
grants have been approved for three to five consecutive years, the Team
requests that the congregation give serious consideration to participating
in the Parish of Promise program which the Team makes available. This
program is an asset assessment and long-range planning effort led by a
Facilitator provided by the Team, working with a group of congregation
members for six extended sessions over a period of a year or more.
Financial grants are scheduled on a diminishing basis for the five-year
term of the program. This experience has proved to be one of exciting and
illuminating growth in vision, purpose and energy for several
congregations in the Maine
More information on the above policies
is available by contacting the Secretary of the Small
Team and Coordinator of its Parish of Promise program:
P.O. Box 176